2021 Mexican Grand Prix Prediction: Potential Title-Deciding Win, Ferrari-McLaren F1 Battle & More

Published 10/29/2021, 10:05 AM EDT
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


Huge uncertainty is starting to loom over the ultimate world champion as we head into the final part of the 2021 F1 season. Recently, the United States orchestrated an amazing show for the fans over F1’s returning weekend to the American continent, and the next in line is at the ‘City of Palaces’ – the Mexican Grand Prix.

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Of course, the limelight is persistently on the two big guns – Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. The duo has carried the show all the way from the start in Bahrain and could well continue to do so until the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

But, there are a lot of other factors to look forward to over the race weekend at the tricky high-speed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. With the Mexican GP being the 18th race of the 2021 calendar, a lot of drivers are in the urge to deliver strong results for the team.

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While the top-field and leading mid-field teams are under pressure to score points in a bid to beat their respective rivals, other teams around the bottom of the field will be searching for a strong finish to the season to offer themselves a mere consolation prize.

So, here are the things to watch out for in Mexico.

Driver’s championship battle for P1 and P5

We’ve already mentioned the candidates capable of contending for P1 in the championship. But, further down, something interesting is churning out in P5. Lando Norris has hardly been scoring points in recent weeks, which has let Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz get alarmingly close in the standings.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during practice REUTERS/Mike Blake

Only 21 points separate Norris and Leclerc, and considering how the trend has been since Spa, there is a significant chance that the Monegasque will hook onto P5, pushing the Brit down. Apart from the Ferrari duo, there is also Daniel Ricciardo, who is tasting the chances of grabbing onto the P5.

So, amidst such a close battle for the championship position, Mexico could be highly crucial for the drivers. Mexico is very much likely to suit Ferrari’s powertrain, which is already looking much superior to McLaren’s Mercedes under normal circumstances.

Considering the fact that Ferrari have been the underdog of the season, who knows, maybe, a podium awaits either of the Red-suited drivers.

Weather likely to deny another two-stopper at Mexican Grand Prix

The sun was beating down at COTA last weekend, although the effect was quite minimal with a gentle breeze keeping the humidity away. Nevertheless, the track temperature did rise enough to affect the tires. There was an immense level of tire wear, consequently forcing the entire grid to opt for a two-stopper race.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a pit stop Pool via REUTERS/Darron Cummings

Well, that might not be the case in Mexico. Similar to the US, the Mexican GP will witness the drivers use the C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium), and C4 (Soft) tire compounds. And the temperatures, too, are likely to revolve around 20°C to 23°C on race day.

However, with more gusts and a much pointer temperature trend expected, the track is likely to cool down at a rapid pace. The temperature might witness a quick rise to the peak and a drop to sub 15°C in no time. And in addition to that, possible cloudy conditions are likely to play a role in keeping the track temperature under check.

Hence, a one-stopper on cards.

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Poor 2019 Mexico outing set to haunt Red Bull?

It was certainly an awful weekend for the Red Bull duo in Mexico in 2019. Not only were they massively off the pace against Mercedes, but they weren’t quick enough to challenge the Prancing Stallions either. It took Verstappen around 69 seconds to see the chequered flag after Hamilton crossed the line in P1.

Furthermore, he finished the race behind his then-teammate, Alex Albon. So, can Super Max turn things around next weekend? Well, certainly. In fact, this is his best chance to place himself on the wall of legends in Mexico.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Verstappen is currently tied with Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, and Lewis Hamilton for the most number of wins in Mexico. And considering the Dutchman’s recent form, there is a huge chance that Verstappen could defeat the legends and put himself up on the top of the list.

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Another exciting weekend on cards at Mexican Grand Prix

Hermann Tilke-designed circuits have hardly produced nail-biting finishes in the past, but this season has been quite the opposite. The French GP, Russian GP, and the United States GP, all have managed to keep the fans on the edge of their seats.

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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Great Britain during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images,)

Hence, there is no reason not to think why such an intense race weekend could prevail in Mexico as well. The first sector is going to be electric, especially during lights out on Sunday afternoon.

The long-run down to turn 1 followed by another long straight between turn 3 and turn 4, the drivers are going to deliver a super show for the fans. Hence, an electrifying weekend in the offing at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez amidst potential full-house stands.

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So, can the fans add more flavor to the Mexican Grand Prix and set off an absolute fest? Well, we’ll know in time.

Watch Story: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 career

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Rohit Kumar

1451 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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